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Sunshine and speedy cars

20.1.2017 at 11:00
Spurred by demand and active route improvement efforts by Finavia, Qatar Airways opened a connection between Helsinki, Finland and Doha, Qatar, in October 2016. But how well do those travelling via Helsinki Airport know Qatar? Everyone we talked to could place it on a map — more or less.

Mariel, 25


Mariel’s aerial adventures illustrate the network of global travel connections offered by Qatar Airways. The company flies to more than 150 destinations on six continents from Doha, the country’s capital. The new route from Helsinki to Doha paves the way for connections to India and Australia, among many other locations.

“I’ve been to Dubai in the past and knew what to expect,” Mariel says.  “Doha more than fulfilled my expectations. The Qatar Airways planes were new and tidy and the airport at Doha was really functional.” 

Joni, 28

Helsinki-Rome, Italy

Timo, 64

Helsinki-Rovaniemi, Finland

Joni has a clear idea of Qatar: “It’s a country of oil tycoons and fast cars!”

“Sand, sun, scorching temperatures, and new technology come to mind,” Timo adds to the list.

The name of Qatar’s capital, Doha, means “roundness,” which refers to the city’s semi-circular bays.

Qatar sits in the desert, which leaves many to ignore its diverse nature. To pick an example, Purple Island, located near Doha, is named after the lilac hues of its vegetation. If you’re looking for thrills, why not camp on the country’s far-stretching shoreline, or surf on the dunes?

Mirjam, 33, and Anneli


Anneli and Mirjam wanted to give the oft-awarded airline a try.

“We’d read positive reviews of the airline, so we did have high expectations of it,” the ladies say. “Once we got to Doha, we paid a visit to one of the dimly-lit bazaars.” 

Arttu, 21


Arttu is travelling from Sydney to Helsinki via Doha. He’s not familiar with Qatar, though it has a link to something close to his heart:

“The FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar!” Football is, in fact, one of the most popular sports in the country.

Those Qatari not keen on football now have new options for spending their spare time: clean nature and a cool climate are only a six-hour flight away in Helsinki. We predict that the new route will soon spark fresh interest in Finland.


Well-functioning flight connections both support the growth of travel and business and are born out of the demand they create. Thanks to the route development work carried out by Finavia, Qatar Airways began flying between Helsinki and Doha in October 2016. The new route will add to the already extensive network of connections offered by Finavia, and strengthen the role of Helsinki Airport as the leading layover hub in Northern Europe.

This article is part of Finavia’s annual report 2016. Click here to view the full annual report.